Studio, Rehearsal & Recital Space for Rent!
Center Stage Pianos features conveniently located studios with talented instructors that bring a wealth of experience and knowledge (instructors are listed below). Please contact instructors directly for more information regarding individual lesson fees, time slots available, policies and other details.
Center Stage Pianos offers a selection of entry level pianos (visit our Virtual Showroom) and has a 5 year trade-up policy when you're ready to make a bigger investment. Students can also purchase their piano method books and other music at our showroom.
Melinda Benson, mezzo-soprano, graduated from the University of Iowa in 2012, where she received both her Masters and Doctorate degrees in Voice Performance and Pedagogy. She is a native of upstate NY and obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in music from SUNY Potsdam in 2000. She recently relocated back to her hometown, Rome, NY to continue teaching and promoting the arts through music and singing. She currently works as a music coordinator for the First United Methodist Church in Fulton, NY and maintains a private voice and piano studio in Rome, NY and New Hartford, NY. She also teaches music classes for the homeschool community.
In addition to teaching, Melinda performs regularly with several professional and semi-professional groups including the Opera Company of Philadelphia, Philadelphia Singers, Opera Seabrook, Delaware Valley Opera and Concert Opera of Philadelphia. Melinda is an active member of AGMA (American Guild of Musical Artists) and of NATS (National Association of Teachers of Singing)
Christine Critelli attended SUNY Potsdam and studied with Clive Henry at Crane School of Music. She graduated with a BA in Education, went on to SUNY Cortland for an MA in Education. She began teaching in 1991 as a student teacher of her former teacher, Joanne Barnaba, owner of Joanne Marie's School of Piano. She continued teaching in 2000 with Sharon Wagner, former owner of Mohawk Valley School of Music. She now owns her own studio and has students of a wide range of ages and abilities, from the novice 5 year old to the new or returning adult student.
She continues to study with Rami Bar Niv of Israel, a well known international performer and instructor. She is a member of the National Guild of Piano Teachers and submits students every year to be evaluated. She also prepares students for NYSSMA which is held every year in May. She holds three recitals a year and encourages all to participate. She is classically trained but encourages all different types of music, depending on the student's interests.
Keith has been a fixture of the CNY music scene for the last 22 years both as an instructor and performer. He can be seen as a solo act in clubs and for parties/weddings all over the area and is in demand as a keyboardist and vocalist, best known for his former tenure in the band Showtime. He has created many performance opportunities for his students with nationally renowned musicians the likes of Liberty Devitto (Billy Joel) and Mark Schulman (P!nk, Cher, Foreginer) and has further exposed them to pro artists through studio-wide field trip meet n' greet/concerts and hosting in-house workshops and clinics.
Keith specializes in modern styles, techniques and gear and has taught hundreds of students over the years, some of which have gone on to become music teachers or professional performers and composers themselves, and still others have overcome various physical and mental disabilities using his methods. He also has decades of experience as a church musician, having mentored praise and worship musicians all over the country. Keith has also appeared on many local recordings and TV specials.
In addition to the above, Keith is also an experienced radio and wedding DJ and in his spare time flies airplanes for the Civil Air Patrol, the auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force.
Pianist Tina Toglia has given numerous premiere performances at Stony Brook, Merkin Hall, the 92nd St. Y, Columbia University and Princeton University. She has been the recipient of fellowships from the Yale Summer School of Music and Art, the Bach Aria Festival, the Tanglewood Music Festival and was a finalist in the J.S. Bach International Piano Competition. Ms. Toglia studied harpsichord with Arthur Haas and was a harpsichordist for the Stony Brook Early Music Ensemble and the Capital Chamber Players in Albany, NY. Just-Spring: Art Songs of John Duke, recorded with soprano Lauralyn Kolb, was released by New World Records as part of their Recorded Anthology of American Music.
Ms. Toglia has taught piano, music history and music theory at Stony Brook University, State University College at Oneonta and a Utica College. She received a doctoral degree from Stony Brook University where she studied piano with Gilbert Kalish. Ms. Toglia was a pupil of Vladimir Sokoloff at the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia where she earned an Artist Diploma. She also holds degrees from Temple University as a student of Alexander Fiorillo.